nawkcire

Games, Tech and Blogging…I can't guarantee in that order.

Tag Archives: content

Keeping It Together

The last couple weeks have been a bit rough. I haven’t been able to be in a peachy mood for awhile and I’m starting to feel the mood that can only be described as “The Infinite Sadness”.

Being away from home has taken a toll on me since I’ve done nothing but become a workoholic. Spending everyday tiring myself out and repeating; however the work varies but it’s the same principle, work then sleep. With that, I’ve missed a few meals here and there. I’ve been down this road before and it’s kind of how I noticed I’m not doing too good, the lack of food and the need to drink. While we’re on the subject of drinking, I do drink alcohol. I’m an adult, I know when to stop. Recently I’ve been spiralling into madness with it, I’ve been drinking heavily and alone. Likely not the two best signs of a cheery chap.

After coming home last week for a short break from work, all I did was sit and sleep. Also video games; mindless video game violence. I haven’t been taking care of myself as I use to; still shower and maintain my own personal hygiene but outside of that, I haven’t done much. Still taking my medication but I think the stress has outpaced the medication. Which is surprising if it is since I trust the medication to last me through the day. I did notice the effects slowly wearing off. Started with a midday slump right after lunch, then it was like an old car engine sputtering to a crawl. Then, there was nothing. No second wind. No miracle recovery. Just the driver in his broken down car.

I still have a couple weeks left on my medication. I could get it refilled, worth a shot though I live 200km away from my pharmacist at the moment and it might be a bother to get a month’s worth for just two more weeks.

Maybe just hold out, just a bit longer. Then hope things will get better.

Long Imaginings

Recently I had the opportunity to take part of brainstorming an alternate universe, a universe which could someday be. I always want to think about a different place and time, something beyond the here and now.

Fantasy is something I enjoy a lot when I can’t reach out and obtain it. It’s kind of odd to imagine a world without the USA, but a conversation directed to it gave it an interesting thought. I’m not much into political science but I couldn’t help to wonder how the states of union would go their own ways.

I guess it’s why I like tactical games, getting the control and to play the person in control. At the same time, which is why I like the loss of control in a survival game. In survival it’s all about thinking to regain some control. Always out of reach in a survival, a good survival game would keep me seeking control.

The appeal of video games, it can take me away yet keep me rooted to reality.

Damage.

This week has been an eventful one with the US on it’s toes for a new president. Wednesday was a sigh a relief, until I turned in Thursday to see a lot of bad things happening down south.

From the live feeds and video crawling the internet, people have been attacking others over political ideologies. People are getting really physical, video of people beating up party supporters. It’s concerning how supercharged the American public can be during an election. Thinking one person can fix everything about a nation isn’t the right way a democracy should operate; perhaps in other forms of government.

Violence in any way should be the last resort, not as a reactive solution to an unstable situation. Of course the two main parties have candidate which have said and done some terrible things, but it’s unfortunate there weren’t other independents to spread their word. However the top two have a lot of influence.

Anyone is free to have an opinion, but no one should be beaten for it. No one should be attacked at random, not for anything. I’m not a Christian person but I believe having ethics and morals. In the past, violence only invites atrocities. Atrocities invites mistakes; mistakes which cannot be undone.

The damage has been done, whether it is victory or defeat; we must live through this.

Re: Help me out here, please.

Response to http://ramblingsfromawritersmind.wordpress.com/2015/01/04/help-me-out-here-please/.

Hello Paul White, marketing isn’t my specialty. However I would like to offer my views on blogging and social media platforms.

For the past few years, I’ve been ranting on about games, people and anything that touches a nerve to me. Thus far, I have seen a small trickle of readers. In the early months, I wasn’t too sure what to do or say to generate traffic. However there are a few things I’ve kept in my mind when I posted something onto my blog.

In terms of content, I do my best to leave the profanity at the door. I swear more than a sailor in real life, but my blog gives me the opportunity to back up and cool off to look objective but still have a fire burning to the point. I’m a personal blogger so I like to be open to my readers, however there are exceptions to this. As a personal prerogative, I keep information that’s very personal and intimate away from my blog. I try and not talk about the people I know by name nor do I try and describe them.

As for “exposure” you kept mentioning, I do think it’s a good thing to have your blog seen by others and have them provide their point of view. WordPress.com is a community of thousands of writers, bloggers and hobbyists. For your content to be seen, you have to write something worth talking about. Write something provocative, informative or opinionated; you will get the attention of a few readers. Importantly when producing content, you should know how to generate viewership. With WordPress, you can use tags to attract other users to your blog. The more tags you attach to the post, the more likely it will be seen based on a keyword search. The kicker to this with WordPress.com, some tags usually overused. Meaning there are a lot of people using the same tag for their post and therefore your post might not be seen and could be buried. If they are patient, they will stumble on your post. Importantly, keep posting constantly. Create a schedule and try to stick to it. When I first started my blog, it wasn’t (and still) is not aimed to generate views. In fact, it’s my own personal platform to release. There are things to be just said and let go rather repressed deeply. I try and aim for a post once every 7 days because it feels natural for me to post at that rate. I subscribed to some bloggers that post every day and some do it once a month. Find your speed.

In a way, we are competing indirectly for viewership through what we tag. This is where social media comes in handy. If you have other media platforms to share, you can bring traffic from other sites towards your site. Of course not only you should be letting the world know what you are producing, at the same time you should be engaging. Doesn’t necessary mean you have to be passive aggressive with bloggers and guest writers where you post a small comment to redirect them to your site, but more towards on building a rapport with others to keep them from coming back. Rather than shake hands and part ways, try and find some common ground where both can benefit through generating traffic rather than having guests redirecting their viewers to your site to generate a viewership on your site.

In case you nodded off with me mumbling on. Here’s the “TL;DR” (Too Long; Didn’t Read) version:

  • Constant content
  • Tag everything like a graffiti artist
  • Reach out on other social media platforms
  • Hope you’re 1 of the many 1000’s people are reading and sharing
  • Don’t be selfish, contribute back

In the end, success just depends on what you have created. If it’s something the same and something that has been done, then it wouldn’t take off as quickly. Doesn’t mean to give up, just means you have to keep going. Soon or later something good will come to it.

Happier

The last week picked up fairly quick with better horizons ahead of me. I have been both very active and very tired, I’ve learned I’m a bit of a workaholic; the one thing I never thought I would become. 

Starting off, I’m reaching close to being straight broke. I’m slowly reaching out for welfare to keep myself afloat. My financial situation is a good smack to the face to job hunting. Even though I have been meticulously scouring all the resources available to me, I still think I’m still far away from where I want to be. The hardest I find about this is I don’t have enough to really keep going indefinitely. In my home grown pride, I don’t feel comfortable on handouts for food and funds but I think I might have to take advantage to what I can provide myself.

Just recently, I finally got a bit of employment and even with that, it’s not going to cover everything to keep me going. It’s not enough to help me move out and not enough to live on my own even with assistance from welfare. This is the irony of being born and raised in the city; I want to live here but at the same time the city seems like it doesn’t want me around. With all these “opportunities” you read about in the newspaper or from people who are living their lives and looking at you. Reality is never black and white and never the shades in between. At least a bit of employment than no employment at all; when you’re hungry and wanting more to your life, does it matter if you’re overworked and underpaid? On a positive note since I got a position working in the food industry, I get to learn more about making food and handling money; which is good especially when it comes to customer service positions in this city.

With more to do with my life, the less I feel I have to worry and the more I can feel productive. I feel really rejuvenated yet relaxed. It’s been too long since I felt a sense of purpose and the need to move quick. In the coming weeks, I hope my schedule will be packed with work. My aim is a 10am to 6 pm work schedule during the weekdays and be on call during the weekends. At the moment like a quest, my “on call” optional is done; just have to complete the main tasks to finish the quest.

“It’s going somewhere…” – Star Trek Online, Season 9

The last week, season 9 for Star Trek Online has come out on its Holodeck server. This means I get to check out what’s new and the challenge to unfold for a Starfleet captain. To start it off the developers have provided a review of what the universe has been through since the game’s conception.

Story in short so far, Klingon’s are suspicious of everyone and started to wage war against the Federation. Romulus is destroyed by it’s own supernova star, thus ending the Romulan Star Empire. The Borg returned in their attempt to take the Alpha Quadrant. The Jem’Hadar provide a friendly reminder the Gamma Quadrant is still dominated by the Dominion. The Undine have been undermining the superpowers to dismantle them. Within the conflicts from the past, the Federation and Klingon look forward to the future. The Federation and the Klingon Empire forge a “no touching” alliance to hold off the Borg and assist in the resettlement of the former inhabitants of the Hobus star. In the Tau Dewa sector in the former Romulan territory, Romulans and Remans have created the New Romulan Republic. Learning from past mistakes of the clandestine Tal Shiar, the Republic work toward establishing a new homeworld and to create a future for the Romulan people based on unity and cooperation. Recently, the Romulan, Federation and Klingon alliance has found an Iconian gateway which lead to the discovery of a another gateway which lead to a Dyson Sphere in the Delta Quadrant. At the same moment, the Voth have taken interest with the Sphere, specifically the Sphere’s Omega particle technology. Old enemies are united to enter the year of 2410. And yes, it took 8 seasons for the year to change once unlike the TV series.

The dubbed features for this content update is mostly visual changes to Starfleet’s Earth Spacedock and character customization additions, introduction of the Undine as the main protagonist for this season and instances and missions associated with it. First thing I did once the patch was install was examine the visuals. At first the patch pushed the graphics up to display the new aesthetics of the characters. Once I was loaded in the game, I set a course right for Spacedock. Coming out of warp above Earth, it was indeed different. The ships moving to and form the drydocks and the station seems to be lively. Upon docking, it was definitely a new sight and definitive change in the colour palette. In short, I’ve spent a long play session just looking at every decal, object and NPC in the changed social zone. Apparently they have added a reason why the zone layout has changed. To avoid spoilers, please play it for yourself. In short, we the players lose a little to gain some different. Like the exteriors, the zone is lively with NPC’s and have much of a shopping mall feel when it comes to the item NPC’s. If the item and exchange area feels like a mall, then the ship interaction NPC’s is the information desk. Aside from the tall ceiling and open space, it’s easier to navigate and feels less crowded unless you walk into the high traffic area.

To the story content, the Borg missions have changed to include a prelude to the Undine storyline. The missions feel long which can be good and bad. Good being it feels like an episode, the bad is the voiceover gets interrupted by accident in certain areas. Double upside, the Borg storyline no longer feels out of place and supplemental. Now the bulk, the Undine story.

To avoid spoilers in short, the action is intense and the story is an obvious changer.  It takes away from classic games concepts and maintains the feel of the Trek intensity once enveloped in the series. This is the season where there are no exclusive additions in fleets but a lot of additions to hold people over until new episodes are released such as the Voth Zone in the Solanae Sphere being overrun with Undine.

Change in the reputation mechanics does make it way easier and less of a grind. First off, main rep projects are separated in two; 20 hour dailies and 1 hour hourly projects. Each of the projects reward a box containing a random object from the project’s store. Also it seems, the project item sets are more linear to be easier to find and redeem which results in making missing set pieces a bit impossible to receive unless you have the project queued prior to the update. Overall, it allows the content to be easier to experience and less of a time gate.

Lastly the Undine STF of two space and one ground 5-man instance. The ground mission is part combat and part detective work. You figure out who on Bajor is an Undine spy and rid the city of Hathon from the Undine spy network. One of the space instances is assault against the planet killer shipyards in fluidic space. The other instance is a counter-offensive above some of major species’ homeworlds. This instance requires attacking on 3 lanes and destroy 2 fluidic rifts. If this idea sounds similar then yup, it’s that kind of game; great way to suck the DOTA crowd.

It’s a balance in art and content changes which slowly advances the storyline. There are small bugs at the moment of this post but negligible. Of the start, season 9 of STO is a good start; the only surprise would be fulfilling season unlike the last few seasons which were devoid of episodic content.

DLC, Map Pack, Expansion, Add-On: Which one is it?

As gamers, we usually enjoy one game and find the next obsession like drug addicted maniacs (don’t do drugs). Sometimes, dealers (I mean developers) release content after months of the initial release of the game. At times, the press release doesn’t necessarily define what is going to the follow up content and they announce it generically a DLC or Downloadable Content. I don’t necessarily have a problem with that phrase when it comes to downloading said content. However, it annoys me when the phrase isn’t relevant to what it is; so I’m going to give you my interpretation of what DLC are to me and how they are broken down.

DLC’s, simply downloadable content which should be additional gameplay tacked on to the base game you can receive through an internet connection. If you need a physical copy, then that to me would be an expansion. “DLC” and “expansion” terms  are the umbrellas for the other downloadable content. Expansions traditionally are optional content that would seem more like an epilogue to the main story to the game or adding a large continuation to the game. Whether it is a larger map size in an MMO or an additional story to the game.

Map packs are prevalent with first person shooters which add additional scenery and areas to play on. Some companies at the same time also release maps as well as additional game modes or content as well, in which case this gets a bit more messy to whether it’s a DLC or a map pack. Oh wait, it’s not! It’s both a DLC and a map pack however the “map pack” nomenclature is included if there is a set of maps and not just one map in the content release in my opinion. This goes with “weapon packs” or any kinds of item addition which sometimes deliver through the same genre. However if it’s just a singular item in any game, I would consider it as a add on (addon or add-on, just pick one) since it’s only a small update to the game and does not open much more gameplay.

At the consumer end, to have some standardization even through terminology to convey what you are trying to advertise. Until next time, keep on gaming!

Weirdness For The Win!

Usually when you ask people if they are a conversationalist, they would answer a yes or no. If no, they’re pretty hypocritical since they’re conversing with you. I mean in terms of just making a random idea and letting it out. Seems like now in a world full of stages, it just seems either an idea comes pre-planned or it’s one of those ideas that would not turn out as well it would be. Unfortunately, this is going to be the latter – maybe.

For those long time readers, you know what happens to me when I’m in heat. I usually beat around the bush a bit then start pounding down my points until we’re all amused and satisfied. And yes, we’re doing it again until I run out of innuendo.

I’m still having trouble with unemployment. I’ve been stumbling around trying to get my butt into applying to some places. Usually it’s done online, but I like to put some feet to the pavement and try the old fashion way. Sometimes the old fashion way does get me thinking about a lot of things. I live in a large city; about three million or so people of all minorities. Everywhere I go downtown I see people of different socio-economic statuses; rich, not so rich and poor; have everything, have a bit and have nothing. Made me realize that the old aristocracy is coming back in a new way. Rather than having a few people on top, it’s just soulless global companies with their exploits dug into the fabric of society as it reaps everything it has for its survival. Which makes us all nothing more than the bottom feeders sucking the teats for our small share and competing for whatever’s left. I pondered this predicament to only conclude no matter how we change society, we will always have an aristocratic society where the wealthy will control everything and everyone else will have an illusion of control. Unless we somehow move to a non-wealth based society where we start to become a society of merit over material. Star Trek anyone?

For over a few millennia, we as a species have survived through a lot and owe our existence to technological progress. Every time we needed something, we seemed to manage to build something to overcome it. However looking back to the last century, we accomplished what our ancestors would have only dreamed just generations ago. Went to the moon, exploring Mars, even discovering the smallest parts of the universe; either physical or mental obstacles, we seem to overcome them. In our lifetime, we could be seeing something remarkable that would change how we see ourselves. If we learned anything from all our wars, our failures, our share of disasters; we can do something that would either mark us down in human history as great people or destroyers of our world. Everyday we spend using up the fuel we have, we pollute and contaminate the world around us. How far are we going to take this? The one thing I would like to see in my lifetime is beyond environmental change. Though ambitious and generic, I would like to see change. Change in terms of global maturity to fix the problems that have been set forth by our parents. I would definitely would like to see harmony between countries and factions of people. Natural unity to our world with sustainable ventures for power and food. Before I die, I would like to see mankind to step onto a new world and not plant a flag. Because I think good things could happen if we just took a little time and viewed the world in a wider perspective.

Idea for humanity, we send rocket ships to Mars. We can build underground caverns and grow food underground while have solar panels on the surface to provide power. We dismantle the ships for fuel and metals to create tools and shelters for our underground cities. Using our excrement, we fertilize all our crops with it and in time we can create a massive awesome underground colony of mole people. If we get lucky, we could terraform the planet in a few generations. Which in turn would allow us to send more people to Mars to live in said city caverns while the surface is used for solar and wind power until the ground is fertile. It would be like Minecraft hardcore mode but in real life and much more redder. Considering we did that to Australia, we could technically do it again; this time, no criminals and we use the jobless and homeless for this task. No crazies, we need some level headed thinkers to plan and build these cities.

Since plastic is non-biodegradable and it floats, why not make a boat out of it or a floating barge? Just clean them out and secure them tightly and build on top of them. There’s probably enough plastic around to build the Titanic but in plastic form. We shall call it the Plastanic and it will be unsinkable since it would just either be in pieces floating around or we have so much floating debris we can just patch up the holes. Like the Mars colony idea, we build these plastic boats with all the necessities to keep people alive and just let them sail around the world forever. At least send them in the middle of the Pacific and start a large manmade continent which I dub Plasterria. We already got a garbage patch going, we might as well look through it and see if we can build something out of it.

A lot of people say video games make people violent, my argument is simple. If I’m massacring people in a virtual world, therefore I am less likely to have the time and energy to do it in real life. Which in my opinion works well with people with highly stressful jobs where you want to just stick it to someone. Just buy Grand Theft Auto and run a few prostitutes over, doesn’t even have to be ladies of the night. Could be grannies trying to catch the train or just walk around the world and beat up random people like it’s your own fight club. By the time you killed everyone a few times over in a video game, you will either feel more relaxed or you realized you spent 5 hours playing a video game and it’s time to eat something because your stomach is growling. Actually, this might work in armed conflict as well. Rather than killing each other on the battlefield, just kill each other in Battlefield. Place the wager and fight until one side drops out. The side still standing wins the wager, war’s over and hopefully nobody dies when they get off their computer.

It is kind of ironic for the last decade I’ve been playing video games as a hobby, yet I can’t use that as experience on my résumé. I played a lot of games that require analytical skills and attention to detail. I even play tested a few which should count as quality assurance and data entry. For employers who have an aversion to hobbies counting for job experience, think again; you are rejecting some very valuable candidates who likely have more experience than you truly know. Someone who like to knit? “Candidate who is accurate and keen on details and patterns.” Own a blog? “Candidate who is insightful with potential editorial skills.” Masturbation; “Able to perform repetitive tasks for prolonged periods of time.” Okay, the last one might be a bad example but you get my point.

We live in a face paced society where we want fast results. I read an article where space junk is accumulating around the Earth that we are pretty much living in our own trash if not already. The solution is to put money into making a tractor beam then bring in an asteroid and collect it for us. Considering you need a large object to have a slight gravitational field, an asteroid around Earth would slowly collect the bits we leave up there. Then we can mine the asteroid or keep it there to collect more space junk. Alternative would be to use the tractor beam technology and try to flick each bit of debris until it’s heading back down to Earth or gets thrown out of orbit.

If we could somehow make a large container the size of the International Space Station out of nothing more than used plastics and trash, we could have our first recycled space ship/space station. Thinking of all the trash we throw out, we could build a lot of things with the trash. With some ingenuity we could be saving money on so many things. Like toys and fishing boats; we could build houses out of nothing more than bottles and mortar made out of pulverized bricks. We could take our food and solid wastes to be used as a fertilizer or a fuel.

Seriously, someone must be thinking of the same ideas. Until next time, keep on being a bit random!